Scientists prepared this map using radar, infrared and some crucial data obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft that studied Saturn and its moon from 2004 to 2017. This is because, apart from it being the only moon known to have a dense atmosphere - it is denser than Earth's - it is also the only known body in space, other than our planet, where clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found.
Rosary Lopes stated that Titan has a methane-based cycle that is in an active state and has given a structure to a complex landscape, making the landscape of Saturn's moon as one of the most diverse in our Solar System.More news: Westpac faces fine for money-laundering breach
"Despite the different materials, temperatures and gravity fields between Earth and Titan, many surface features are similar between the two worlds and can be interpreted as being products of the same geologic processes", she said.
The map, published in Nature Astronomy on November 18, identifies six key options (or "geologic items"): plains, dunes, hummocky terrain (small mountains), lakes, labyrinth terrain, and craters. The map indicates that Titan's geology depends strongly on latitude. "Specifically, they used data from Cassini's radar imager to penetrate Titan's opaque atmosphere of nitrogen and methane", said the JPL. The researchers used data from more than 120 flybys that Cassini performed over the years, combining measurements made by its radar, visible light and infrared instruments.
Rainfall occurs everywhere on Titan, but the equatorial regions are drier than the poles, said study co-author Anezina Solomonidou, a European Space Agency research fellow. "Although we did not have global coverage with synthetic aperture radar [SAR], we used data from other instruments and other modes from radar to correlate characteristics of the different terrain units so we could infer what the terrains are even in areas where we don't have SAR coverage".More news: #METOO: Anu Malik booted off Indian Idol show
"The Cassini mission revealed that Titan is a geologically active world, where hydrocarbons like methane and ethane take the role that water has on Earth", planetary geologist David Williams added in the statement.
Unlike Earth though Titan is not filled with lakes and pools of water.
The map was created seven years before the USA space agency is set to launch its Dragonfly mission to dispatch a multi-rotor drone to study Titan's chemistry and suitability for life.More news: Trump says he doesn’t expect to be impeached